"Noon Toot" and "Northern Genii"

Noon Toot

There’s a picture stuck on the flue, some glam motor oil promo
The nubile girl is lubed and pneumatic
The picture covers a hole in the old chimney of
This once manufactory
That’s now used as a weld supply shop
Though lads are still coated in grease caked overalls
The workers in and out of
These once red brick walls
Trade nuts and bolts instead of molten metal

They’re unaware of the revolution that went on
Them, as us, just apprentices earning beer and fag money
They all existing in the moments

The girl in the picture starts to twitch
There is a movement beneath her left tit
The poster flicks from the wall a bit
Two apprentices notice

The fuck was that?
To Dave, asks Pete
T’were probably just
The wind
, says Dave, farting in reply

The girl’s nipple extends then
The thought of someone behind her poking with a pen, is
That what could be happening
Then, wonders Pete, as he walks to the flue
Talking to the ‘someone’ trapped in
The chimney
They take the picture off
The wall says farewell Miss January

There is the yellow bill of a desperate bird
Tap tap tapping now at fresher air
Trapped like a feathered star

There is a gasp from all three
There are three gasps
Try to pull the thing
Through, it’s what to do
The hole
‘Tis the beak beak
That doesn’t work
‘Tis the head too big, warbles Pete
They try to make the hole bigger
The bird keeps poking in
To chip away would kill it

The bird’s beak starts to gape

They manage to get some water to the throat
That dust you know
They stand undecided

Then the whistle for dinner blows

Tissue gets stuffed into the hole
Tissue with which they push back the starling

They stick Miss February back over
The discomfort and then
To the chippy they tootle off
Towards a mushy pea fritter

Tear into your dinner like lads let loose for their pint of bitter
Tear another day off the calendar lads!



Northern Genii

A thumbnail moon snaggles up for the night
Caught comfy in the baggy black pullover of the sky

Warm animal life in this Northern town is dumb now
And all insects dry
Even the moths are dust

A genie slicks through the crepuscular streets
A muscular brain no one follows
No one knows as no one hears
Ears usually attuned to the tinkle of coins on the pavement
Eyes to their corners, straining
Ready to come out fighting
There is no time to think
There is no room to breathe
To earn only and exist
No ideas here
There is a name on the tip of all tongues
What was it?
Hold that thought
He is lexical access incarnate
The answer personified
And yet the city lets him slide
Right on

He glides by like a football on a wet Sunday morning
During your Pub teams eleven-a-side struggle
To get going
Crapulous Athletic Nil
​Hungover Academicals Nil

And would any one for once pick him to play?
 - Who needs to score?
It’s all about not losing here
Especially against them there

The genius sidles off down south
Through rainbow ridden puddles
Splashing in streets of toxic gold
As he goes
No one follows



Anthony C. Murphy has worked and performed on the spoken word scene in Brighton, UK, and New York City for the last ten years. He has written several chapbooks, an illustrated children’s book Liberty Takes a Break and a novel – Shiftless – which is out now with Atmosphere Press.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, November 24, 2016 - 23:24